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Manchester Unity Building, 220 Collins St, Melbourne

What do I need to know about dental implants?

Adult teeth can be lost in a number of different ways, including trauma, infection or poor health of the surrounding gums. Replacing teeth that have been lost can have significant long-term functional benefits in terms of speaking clearly, chewing and maintaining good jaw health. From an aesthetic perspective, replacing missing teeth may also improve the look of your face and smile.

At Smile Solutions, dental implants are a common treatment for replacing missing teeth or teeth that cannot otherwise be saved. Implants provide an alternative to a bridge or a fixed denture, ranging from single-tooth replacement to a complete upper and lower arch replacement.

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How do dental implants work?

Dental implants are titanium or titanium alloy screws that are surgically placed into the jawbone. The average implant is 4mm in diameter and about 10mm in length; over time the screw fuses to the underlying bone and works like the root of a natural tooth. A crown is then placed over the implant, to act as a natural looking and functioning replacement tooth.

Just like with you natural teeth, it is important that implants are brushed and flossed every day, as well as professionally cleaned twice a year.

What is bone grafting?

Bone grafting is a straightforward procedure, where bone filler is placed around the implant, allowing and encouraging your own bone to grow into that area. Not every patient will require bone grafting, only those with low bone density.

What is a sinus lift?

A sinus lift (also known as sinus augmentation or sinus grafting) is a procedure that adds bone to the upper jaw near the molars and premolars, between the jaw and the auxillary sinuses on either side of the nose. The sinus membrane is moved upward, or ‘lifted’, to make room for bone filler to be placed.

How long does it all take?

Prior to the dental implant procedure, our team of clinicians will assess you, and if suitable, the operation will usually be performed under general anaesthetic as a day-surgery procedure.

What are the benefits of getting dental implants?

Some of the main benefits of dental implants are their very high success rate and the control they give over length, width, alignment and shade of the tooth replacement, making it the better option when aesthetics is a priority. They resemble the natural form and function so closely, that an implant will not be noticeable from your natural teeth.

Would I be a suitable candidate for dental implants?

There are a number of different factors that can determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for dental implants, these include adequate bone density (in terms of quality and volume), good oral hygiene and dental health, and that you meet the general medical requirements.

It’s good to keep in mind that most dentists would recommend keeping your own natural teeth rather than extraction and implantation, but in the cases where this is not possible dental implants really can provide patients with a functional and aesthetically pleasing smile.

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